CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- If federalism happens today, Central Luzon Region is ready for it, according to a framer of the 1987 Constitution.
Unfortunately, Central Luzon is only one of three regions -- the others being the National Capital Region and Calabarzon-- which are considered ready.
This was disclosed by Professor Edmundo "Ed" Garcia, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution during a TV interview last Friday.
"There are only three regions in the country which have the capacity to sustain themselves if federalism is adopted, and these are Central Luzon, National Capital Region and Calabarzon," Garcia, who opposes federalism, said.
Garcia said he is not against federalism per se but doubts its timing.
"We are not yet ready" he said, "and timing is important."
The three regions cited are the major cogs of the Philippine economy. The National Capital Region is the seat of the national government and major companies. Calabarzon is the premier manufacturing and industrial region while Central Luzon is also a major contributor to the country's GDP.
Central Luzon is home to the Clark Freeport and Subic Freeport zones which are described as very strategic investments destinations in Southeast Asia. The Clark International Airport looms as the country's premier gateway.
Clark and Subic, along with Metro Manila are sometimes referred as the golden triangle of growth in the Philippines.
The Duterte Administration is pushing for replacing the current unitary and presidential form of government in the Philippines with federalism with President Duterte preferring the French model.
President Duterte also is favor of a charter change which proponents have deemed necessary and timely since the 1987 charter is more than 30 over years old.
But legislators in the House of Representatives and the Senate are at loggerheads as to whether both chambers will vote jointly or separately to form themselves as a constituent assembly. The House prefers the former while the Senate wants the latter. (NCS)